Monday, March 30, 2009

330-3.30-0330-IIIXXX-Three Thirty...

For those who've wondered where the 330 in our name comes from.



On this day in 2009 The King turns 10 and The Princess turns 5

Happy Birthday

Monday, March 23, 2009

That Metal Show Ep 3 - Season 2; Mastodon 'Crack The Skye' Out 3/24

Episode 3, Season 2 of VH1’s That Metal Show…

This episode starts off with a good chat about the topic of downloading, and the iPod generation and the “loss” of the album. A collection of songs written, performed, recorded, mastered and sequenced by the artist, as the artist once envisioned. The hosts made mention of people loading things into their iPods but maybe only selecting a few songs thus fucking up the track order a.k.a. sequence of said record.

This topic probably isn’t of interest to anyone under the age of, oh 30 but to the few, the proud it means something. I was a little impressed with Jim Florentine for being able to rattle off side 1 of ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ in order - but that feeling of being impressed, didn’t last long.

In closing, the topic of downloading, either legal or not can be something we can talk about for weeks. Quit stealing music motherfuckers. Thanks.

I) The guests for the evening was Gary and Nuno from the horrible, horrible Extreme (no, I’m not linking anything related to them, thanks again). Right off the bat, I miss Frank Bello! What the fuck is Extreme doing here?

Some interview banter where they go through the various crap the guys have done since Extreme ended, but they glance over Gary’s Van Halen stint. It’s later revealed the seeds for this pointless reunion were planted in Nuno’s head while he toured Europe with another band. So blame Europe for this pointless reunion.

Jim Florentine finally asks Gary about his time in Van Halen and really what can the guy say? Dismal album, dismal tour wasn’t a good fit. But the guy did get to sing “Unchained” every night, right?

II) On Location with Don and Jim in Europe seeing Motorhead the Hammersmith Odeon. This was a bit where they had microphones and bogus TV cameras and interviewed fans outside the venue. They pretended to ask Motorhead questions via the cameras and would tell the fans the answers. Admittedly this was pretty fucking funny.

Started a little slow, but it built into a funny bit. Breaking balls is funny. It was cool to see the guys (Jim and Don) impressed with being at the legendary venue where so many historical gigs had taken place.

III) Stump the Trunk. Michael Schenker/Simon Philips trivia, Judas Priest cover song trivia and an Extreme trivia question?! Finally former Evil Dead/ Testament Drummer Jon Dette gets his 7th minute of fame by being a remembered/forgotten drummer in Slayer.

There was some confusion as to the answer to the question so Eddie asked the audience if anyone knew for sure.

It drove me nuts that all of the hosts as well as the audience didn’t know how Jon fit into the Slayer story. Short story short, he was in the band after Paul Bostaph quit the first time (96) and played on the ‘Undisputed Attitude’ tour. He was later fired and Bostaph rejoined.

IV) There was a little “recommended by” thing where each of the hosts got to mention something they were currently listening to… Danko Jones, The Binges and ex-Poison Guitarist Richie Kotzen CD’s…uh, no to all.

V) Whatever happened to: Jason Newsted? This was a waste of time as the hosts had little insight to exactly what’s up with Jason. I could tell you he’s playing on the new (and last ever?) VoiVod album. However it doesn’t appear he’s doing any live shows with them as they’ve been rejoined by original Bassist Blacky.

VI) Cast and audience poll: What is the “meaner” album – Pantera’s ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ or Slayer’s ‘Reign In Blood’. Another no-brainer, yet the only one to pick ‘Reign’ was Eddie Trunk! What a bunch of complete posers! I guess I could see the pussies from Extreme picking ‘Vulgar…’ but the other two hosts?

Even Trunk had to reiterate the question, “It’s not the better of or the better live band, it’s asking which album is the meaner of the two!” Still, no budge from the limp wristed and even when the audience was asked, they picked ‘Vulgar…’ too!

So sure, ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ might want to make you beat someone’s ass, I guess I can see that. However ‘Reign In Blood’ should make you want to beat someone’s ass and then disembowel them and smear their blood all over yourself. Big difference.

Pretty bad episode.

3.24 sees the release of ‘Crack The Skye’ by Mastodon. I've got to hand it to the band. They've written a really killer record. Very complex, very heavy, progressive but retaining it's heavier than thou foundation. Some progressive bands end up sounding, well "lighter". This album is heavy as all hell while tackling some heady subject matter, overall a very deep presence permeates through the disc. 'Crack The Skye' is a band firing on all cylinders.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

3.19 'Come Bite The Apple' a.k.a. Spring is near.

Ever have “seasonal” music?

I’m I guess talking the Metal/Rock equivalent of putting on Christmas music during December or Irish jig music around St. Patrick's Day. I’m definitely that way. I tend to listen to some music at the same time/season each year.

Thankfully here in Chicago we have several different seasons and these seasons and their changes relate to me musically. We all know that Winter has always been a great time for Extreme Metal. Black Metal and it’s imagery of the Norwegian bands doing their thing was practically made for Chicago Winters. Cold, dark, unforgiving and brutal… like I said perfect!

There’s also something to be said for the Fall and Halloween [a.k.a. the Skeletal Season] time of the year, so much great music can take me places in my mind and the weather can be a part of the experience.

Summer has always been dominated by "party" bands, good time stuff. Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, certain Maiden, Sabbath always and upbeat Scorpions etc.

Spring has never been a favorite season, around here. It’s usually kind of damp and grey looking, trees are still bare and it has a sort of post apocalyptic feel. Not exactly bad, not exactly good, just there. However when the weather finally breaks there's an unexplainable vibe of harmony and hope.

Everyone is coming out of their shells (homes) and letting the Sun work it's magic on your senses. For those unfamiliar with the first sun after extended periods of cold hell, I think it's impossible to fully explain.

So when these magical days appear, the first of a new year I always reach for...

Now today [March 19th 2009] also happens to mark the 19th year since Mother Love Bone Vocalist Andrew Wood left Earth for Olympus [Heaven]. As with most stuff I write about, I’m not here to sell it to you, It's just stuff I get off on.

Mother Love Bone's 'Apple’ is one of those records.

One of those records I’ll always list in my Top 10. One of those albums that will always be a ‘desert island’ disc, one that I wouldn’t mind having a song or two played at my funeral, it’s one of those records for me.

I can’t remember though, how I “met” this album. I know it was 1990 and I was at a weird musical place in life. The 80's Thrash/Death Metal I’d come up with was undergoing a mutation, it was becoming full blown Death Metal.

At first, other than a small handful of releases [Morbid Angel/Entombed/Deicide/Napalm etc.] this style of music just seemed “dumb”. It wasn't the originators of the scene, but the 2nd and 3rd rate clones that over saturated the style really quick.

Cannibal Corpse and the like, it was just a mumbled mess and it wasn’t until the bands of that era started coming out with more structured musical pieces I fully absorbed them. But until then it left a gap and it was then this album came into my life.

I remember reading about the death of Andrew Wood in RIP Magazine. Their take on it was how the guy was essentially weeks away from the biggest moment of his young life [release of his major label debut] and in my opinion, fucked it all up by dying.

Wood was a heroin user and rehab facility two-timer, his band (of course future members of Pearl Jam) had pretty much got him into rehab as they were finally ready to release and tour their album. Their dream, their quest for the unknown.

They couldn’t have an out of control addict fronting the band who were, by all accounts, poised to break the “big time”. But above all they cared about their friend. The heart and soul of Mother Love Bone.

That scene was ready to explode and there was no one like Andrew, he would’ve been huge. Where most Seattle frontmen were ultra serious, you had guys like Mudhoney's Mark Arm and Andrew Wood. Guys not afraid to have a good time and everyone was always welcome to the party.

Wood by the age of 18 was already a veteran of Washington's burgeoning Rock scene. His pre-MLB band Malfunkshun had been writing songs, playing gigs, recording demos for years. On top of that Andrew's persona had the makings of an arena rock headliner, yet he was only in the clubs. Outrageous and unpredictable with both his visual and musical expression, it's very much a "what would have been" tale.

Malfunkshun's "Welcome To Olympus" CD, released 1995

Trouble was, after he’d completed another rehab stint where he remained clean for a few months. As he awaited the release of ‘Apple’, one night he succumbed to his urges and overdosed. A few days of being on life support it was over and that was that.

Even though I'm sure 'Apple' sold little upon it's release in 1990 amazingly Andrew still 'changed' the face of popular music. Obviously had he lived there would've been no Pearl Jam and they sure made an impact, huh? The Temple of the Dog album, a tribute to Wood was also many an introduction for future grungers the world over.

The 'Apple' LP and 1989 released EP 'Shine' were combined for a self-titled release in 1992 during the peak of Grunge Fuckin' Mania.

I've been trying to describe this record to people for years. All I can say is it's about as close to perfection as it can get. Classic Rock (re: late 70's Aerosmith) with catchy, hooky and amazing songs and lyrics. Rock solid beat and vocals delivered with the flair of a David Lee Roth fucks Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant vibe.

So many great songs, so many greats moods, so many incredible vibes. Really a timeless album. I'm sure that wasn't the intention when it was recorded and with the way everything happened I'm not even sure the Pearl Jam guys could recognize the brilliance of this little record.

Next week Pearl Jam's 1991 debut 'Ten' sees a deluxe re-issue. Funny how things work. I could go on for weeks here. A few years ago a movie on the short life of Wood was filmed and premiered at several film festivals. It's been a long time since I heard a word about the film, but let's hope it comes out before I die.

For those keeping track, March 19th, 2009 is also the 27th year since Randy Rhoads died.


Monday, March 16, 2009

That Metal Show Episode Two - Season 2

So another week, another ‘That Metal Show’ report.

This weeks guest was Anthrax bassist Frank Bello. I thought the purpose of having a guest on a talk show was when the guest had something to promote? Anthrax have nothing ready to promote so you know this was going to have to go somewhere soon to prevent a train wreck.

Show started with some talk of European Festivals, the beauty of them really (huge, mixed bills, people). It was nice segue way into the appearance of Bello.

I) Nothing spectacular as far as the first few minutes, Frank plugs their new singer and name drops Iron Maiden a few times. Eddie, Jim and the other guy chit chat with him about Anthrax, now on their fourth singer and the failed
reunion. They don’t go into Frank leaving Anthrax (and being replaced by Armored Saint’s Joey Vera) but they do talk about him playing with Helmet.

Frank’s looking pretty old these days, no?

My bullshit meter flew to the red when “the nephew” said this, “Be honest with your fans.”

Got news for you, the words Anthrax and honest simply do not go together. If they were honest with their fans, they’d actually acknowledge them instead of being the stuck up pricks they really are.

II) On location with Anthrax. Typical “band” interview with
Scott Ian doing ALL the talking, what else is new? Again though, nothing to really report on, they did another show with the new singer. They showed the guy, he got some camera time, all I can say is good for him. He’s going to need all the good luck in the world to still have a job in Anthrax this time next year.

III) Stump The Trunk- More Rock trivia and I had no idea
Warren DeMartini of Ratt was a touring guitarist (back in 1994) for Whitesnake. I was stumped, good stuff. The other potential stump was the connection between Skid Row and Anthrax.

They shared a vocalist in a guy named
Matt Fallon. I knew he was in Anthrax for a few minutes, but didn’t know he was in a pre-Bach Skid Row.

IV) While this had nothing to do with the show itself, I guess promotion people will do whatever they can to sell shit. There’s a new movie called “I Love You Man” which features some cameos by Messrs Lee, Lifeson and Peart a.k.a. RUSH. So while the Rock Dork in me was happy to see Rush get some mainstream props, the cynic in me was disgusted. It was freaky though as earlier that day I watched
'Exit Stage Left' on DVD. Like, wow man.

V) Whatever happened to: Former Testament co-founder/Drummer Louie Clemente? While I don’t think anyone has been losing sleep on the whereabouts of Louie, it was better than learning what someone from White Lion was up to. Eddie calls Louie a “great drummer” which again caused the bullshit meter to travel towards the red.

Great guy maybe. Great bandmate, maybe.

Great Drummer? No fucking way. Adequate sure, but great no way. He’s currently in the antique business.

VI) A rapid fire round table on the battle of the debut albums. Van Halen’s self-titled
1978 debut or the 1987 released ‘Appetite For Destruction’ by Guns N' Roses. No brainer and if you answered ‘A.F.D.’ you’re a “D.I.K.”

So that was Season 2 Episode 2…Frank Bello is no Vinnie Paul.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Clash of the Titans Thrashback Part I

I was watching 'Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal' the other day while sick. Gotta say for all the wait I really do find the movie entertaining even after so many years. I was lucky enough to get a screener copy from Rick Ernst in 2006 or so, but yeah, still a good thing.

So in the movie there's a chapter on the Thrash of the Titans Tour.
[Clash European Tour Poster 1990 w. Suicidal Tendencies and Testament]

My thoughts on the tour can be found in my interview with Rick...

Here's some good reading from back then.

(Click To Enlarge)

Metal Maniacs Coverage Part I (Part II coming soon)

(Click to Enlarge)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"The Internet! Is that thing still around?" - Homer J Simpson

Like I said in the Flu post I was going through the archives recently. Here's the 80's/90's underground's version of e-mail...

Issue 13- 1996

Issue 15- 1997

It was rather simple. Make one of these things, paste four or five to a sheet of paper with a glue stick. Copy 500 of them at work. Cut all 2000 at work or whatever and hit the mail. Every letter or Zine you sent out you threw some in, as well as the others you received from other mags/bands/labels. This was how it was done for many, many years.

Fuckin' fancy computers!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lamb Of God’s Historic and Revolutionary Sales Shatter the Obliterated while freeing the exploited!

"I can't express in words how things have changed for us in the past six weeks. 'Wrath' has debuted at #2. We are literally astonished. With the economy brittle and an abundance of copycat artists, we were able to shock the music world and pull off what no one else has done.

"To get a better understanding, the record industry has declined 30% since our last album, 'Sacrament', debuted in August 2006, yet we prevailed and outsold that record....with a new record that is brutal slap to the face of all popular music. I could not be more proud of the band for making the record we wanted, but more importantly you, the friends and family of this band, are the ones that made it a reality. The credit is yours. The revolution is ours. This is a triumph not only for us, but for metal.

"I look at it as objectively as possible — this is not about us in LAMB OF GOD, this is the tide turning against the sing-song, look-alike pretty-boy industry. It's unreal to be a part of, and at the moment leading, the charge in this important direction. I rejoice in the dent we have created in the establishment, but it never could have happened without you. I mean that. This is the time for us all to raise a glass to each other and understand that together we are dictating the future of real music.

I can't tell you how amazing that is to me. I now look forward to the future of music and the evolution of metal.

"Nu metal is officially dead, and we can all hopefully begin look forward to cute teenage girls no longer being exploited with jingles written in back rooms by old men with music formulas. Together we've shocked the world, and we are proud and honored to have your support. This is your victory as much as it is ours. We are lucky you have our back!

"We did not do this in a void. Many bands before us, that came before their time, have influenced us and helped us create who we are. There are too many to list, but I can tell you that we are children of the '80s metal/punk scene. We are the kids that skipped first period to smoke cigarettes and listen to our cassette Walkmans, just like you. We are the outcasts, the ones with 'limited potential' and 'no future.'

"Follow your dreams and do what is in your heart. There is no better advice I can give.

"To all that tried to stop us as individuals and as a band, I say unto thee, thank you. You have made it all so much sweeter.

“If you are reading this, you get it. We've never schemed to do anything other than have fun and be the best we can be. Love us or hate us, you have to admit that we are shattering doors that should have been opened long ago.

"All hail metal."

So, I knew it was coming, I fucking knew it.

Before I begin, let me just clear the air. I have no personal problem with Chris Adler or Lamb Of God. In fact, I happen to think his brother, Willie is probably one of the coolest motherfuckers in music. The others are righteous dudes in their own right.

What gets me is this.

Every time there’s a new album (or DVD, or tour, or T-shirt or…) by the band you can bet your bottom dollar there’s going to be this kind of press release by Chris. A waxing poetically about said product and it’s “impact” on the World of Heavy Metal.

Now, you cannot deny that what they release by all means does impact our Metal world…it sure the fuck does. They chart high (#2, damn) and create some kind of ripple effect that hopefully helps other bands fighting the good fight.

That’s not why I’m here, not at all.

The reason I’m here is because it’s in the manner in which he chooses to take. Every time we get one of these things he writes them like he’s parting fucking water or something. Like the earth is readjusting it’s axis to compensate for this deliverance of product and the mass consumption of it by its inhabitants.

I stop myself short of saying his message is delivered with a pompous attitude, because having spent a little time off stage with the guy he is pretty much attitude free. But his choice of words and phrases just bother me.

All this “we did the unthinkable”, “we shocked the world” and the words “victories” and “revolutions” and shit, to me are just way overblown!

You’re on a MAJOR label. You’re on the cover of all the MAJOR PRESS. Your video gets a lot of airplay, your street team obviously did their job too. Your new album was pushed and hyped and name checked every-fucking-minute on satellite radio, Best Buy ran the advertising your label paid for as well as end cap marketing…and to top it all off where else are the Pantera fan rejects of America supposed to turn?

What you did was cool…let the music do the talking.

Those doors you claim to be shattering…those doors were taped together from their original OBLITERATION back in February 1986 when ‘Master Of Puppets’ came out. I just think what Lamb Of God is doing is ‘par for the course’ for an established major label Heavy Metal band in 2009.

Truth be told, I was far more impressed with the 268,000 copies (and a #1 birth) Slipknot sold late last year. This “Thrash Metal” template has been laid out for fucking years now. Lamb Of God doing what’s been done before (musically as well as these other “historic victories”) is just not that impressive.

‘Far Beyond Driven’, now THAT was a victorious moment for Metal. The height of "Grunge" and way, way less media exposure...a real left field-right hook to the face of the Recording Industry.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sick as a dog, 'That Metal Show' Season 2

So who else in Metal-land got the fucking Flu? You? Your Muddah? Your Faddah? No? Good I suppose because it's been a long-fucking-week here in N.B.M.O.ville.

It's not been a total wash as I've been able to go through some of the archives and when that happens, trust me, we all win.

More on that very soon.

I want to start updating this blog a lot more starting, well, now. Even if it's just something like a suggestion of an album or to bitch about something I read about on Blabbermouth. Whatever, I just need to do it and thank you all for reading.

One thing I wanted to start commenting on was the new season, Season 2 of 'That Metal Show'.

Now this is a new thing for me as I only saw one or one and a half episodes of Season one. Why? Well this kinda shit really hits home for me. Even watching a few minutes of that show can set me off where I end up talking/yelling at the TV because, I'm me.

Almost the same reaction to reading a music magazine or viewing some website , I just take the shit so serious.

So that being said I wanted to make sure I was ready for the start of the new season which aired tonight and here's what I thought.

I) Episode One starts with a quick roundtable thing on 'Chinese Democracy'
Right off the bat I'm in total disagreement. I was actually a bit surprised that all three of the hosts are almost in favor of the album. I think one of the all-agreeing quotes was "it's an album that takes a lot of listens", I smell bullshit.

But who are we kidding here? Eddie Trunk whom as a fellow rock dork I respect, HAS to remain impartial and knows it's "career suicide" to dis Asshole Rose on national TV.

Eddie struck radio gold years ago when Sebastian Bach got Asshole to come on Eddie's radio show and it was an exclusive every-motherfucker-on-Earth would've sold their mother for. So what was I expecting? Not sure.

For the record, I still think the album is an over-bloated go nowhere mish-mash of a mess.

Guest of the show: Vinnie Paul What can you say about Vinnie? He's a fucking great dude and any time I've ever been in the guy's presence he's been just beyond cool. He knows his Rock n' Roll inside and out and he was great on the show and added a little here and there which was cool to watch.
Am I going to hold it against him his bass player is a fucking bus pisser? Nah...but that's neither here nor there.

There was some bullshit about picking a new girl to handle the trivia prize give-a-ways. It was stupid, but I had no idea the show was only a 1/2 hour long so the segment went from stupid to totally fucking stupid and a waste of valuable time.

The 'Stump The Trunk' segment is a trivia thing where a few audience members get to challenge Eddie Trunk. Now how can anyone say a bad thing about anything related to Rock Trivia? Brilliant!

A quick "whatever happened to" thing about Dave King, or was it about Fastway? I don't know and I'm kinda fucked up right now, but it was one or the other and while I don't know shit about Flogging Molly, but that first Fastway album fucking rules. A few years ago I bought some songs from the 'Trick Or Treat' soundtrack on iTunes. Bad movie, some rokkin' songs though!

There was a quick debate about old or new Metallica which no one dropped anything groundbreaking as far as proving their point, but that's a tough debate no matter what the forum.